Gift Wrapped Endive Salad in Radicchio Bowl with Shallot Dressing

Index

Ingredients

Instructions

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While attending the French Culinary Institute, we were challenged to create a final project which was to include original recipes for a themed 5-course meal. My theme was “Gifts & Surprises” as I had given myself the gift of investing in culinary school, and boy, was it a surprise, as to how tough and grueling it was…but oh so rewarding.  Each dish I created was made to look like a present. 

In Europe, salad is served after the main meal, as it aids in digestion. In the plant based world, we suggest eating the salad first, as it satiates hunger and aids us in losing weight because we start to get full before the main, more caloric entree.

Either way, this is a beautiful way to serve a salad!

Ingredients

For the Salad :

  • 36 large large endive leaves (about 6 heads)
  • 2 heads radicchio 
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 yellow bell peppers 
  • 2 bunch scallions 
  • 2 Leek greens, cleaned and blanched until tender

For the Dressing :

  • ½ cup parsley leaves
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts,roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 TB red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

For the Salad :

  1.  Wash the red and green leaf lettuces and spin dry.  
  2. Cut off ends of endive and radicchio..  Carefully remove leaves to prevent tearing. 
  3. Slice 1 red bell  pepper and 1 yellow bell pepper into long, thin (⅛”) strips, 
  4. Cut 1 red bell pepper and 1 yellow bell pepper into ¼” strips, then into tiny diamond shapes.
  5. Slice scallions, green parts only, lengthwise, and curl.  Reserve 2 scallions, whie and light green parts, for the dressing.
  6. Blanch 2 leek greens.

For the Dressing :

  1.  In the bowl of a food processor, chop the parsley, add the shallots and scallions and process to a fine mince.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and process until emulsified.

To Serve :

  1. Place the salad greens in a large bowl and pour just a bit of the dressing around the sides of the bowl.  Toss to coat all the leaves, adding more dressing if needed.
  2. On each salad plate, place 2 radicchio leaves to form a bowl.  Place dressed greens in the bowl, adding 2-3 strips of bell peppers to each salad.
  3. Place endive spears to form a circle around the “bowl” and decorate the endive spears with diamond shaped bell peppers and curled scallion greens.
  4. Pull up the endive spears around the radicchio cup and tie, just below the top, and tie together with leek ribbons.
  5. Ask the guests to pull the leek ribbons up to see their gift of salad!

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